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Mansell Group

Spam can be an annoyance and a security risk, but what if you’re keen on doing marketing through e-mail? Mansell Group aims to minimize that possibility of getting trapped in the filter.

Spam can be an annoyance and a security risk, but what if you’re keen on doing marketing through e-mail? You risk getting trapped in a spam filter if you’re not careful. Atlanta-based Mansell Group aims to minimize that possibility, by helping companies navigate e-mail marketing with ease. President Allen Nance talks about rules, black lists, and watching out for disgruntled employees.

How did the company get started?

Mansell Group was started in 1999 as a sales and marketing consulting company. In 2001, Mansell Group acquired a leading e-mail messaging and technology platform and quickly moved to capitalize on the emerging customer relationship management, and e-mail communications business.

Why do you think there’s a need for your services?

In less than 10 years, e-mail has become a necessity. E-mail is not going away and companies need partners to help them reach customers through this communication channel. As the “rules” of e-mail continue to evolve and become more complicated, the need for our services will continue to grow. We are fast approaching a time when companies won’t be able to manage their own e-mail communication.

Why does the company choose to target the small business market?

In the past, small businesses have been able to manage their e-mail communications themselves. As e-mail communication becomes more complex, and legal risks for businesses increase, small businesses will need an e-mail marketing partner. We see a lot of growth opportunity in this market.

What are the largest challenges that you see in providing your services?

No question, balancing our client’s needs for increasing sales and market share with the new rules of engagement for e-mail communication.

A couple of years ago, you could just send e-mail to a company’s existing database. Today, you have to have documentation that everyone has requested to receive your information. This problem is compounded by “spam lists” that anybody, such as a disgruntled employee, can add you to.

As an e-mail marketing vendor, it’s very important that we stay off the spam lists.

How do you make sure to stay out of company and home spam filters?

The easiest way for individuals and companies to stay out of spam filters is to get permission. A lot of companies and individuals think this is a gray area, such as, “I’m sure these people won’t mind if I send them an e-mail.” Permission-based e-mail communication is black and white–you either have permission, or you don’t. The next step in staying off spam lists is to monitor spam lists, often called “black lists”.

Companies like Spam Cop, and various ISPs, keep a list of e-mail abusers. Companies and individuals should buy software that helps them monitor this, or partner with an e-mail marketing company to do this for them. If you find your name on a spam list, see who put you on there and remove them from your e-mail database–regardless of their “opt in” status. By following these two rules, you can begin conducting responsible e-mail communication. Many e-mail vendors manage these listings for companies, and often work with ISPs to comply with their e-mail policies and procedures.

What can e-mail recipients do to minimize spam?

Even with multiple spam filters, it’s difficult to keep junk e-mail at bay. If consumers and individuals don’t want to get spam, it’s a good idea not use their primary e-mail address when signing up for newsletters, special offers, clubs, personal accounts, etc. online. By using a free e-mail service like Yahoo! or MSN Hotmail, consumers can “protect” their primary e-mail account.

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